Maybe I am over-interpreting, but it seems like the Weekly Standard is hoping for a Romney Hillary race. If I am right, I don’t think they show they understand much about how races are won.
(If that statement seems arrogant on my part, just remember that “their guys” lost in 2008 and 2012, and they are currently trying to breathe life into a two-time presidential failure—the guy that Republicans in 2008 rejected for McCain because McCain was more conservative.)
But look at their headline: “Romney: ‘No Question’ I’d Be a Better President Than Hillary.” Romney is actually a bit more humble than the headline portrays him as being. He did not volunteer the comparison but was asked a loaded question.
“You mentioned Hillary Clinton,” said host Chris Wallace. “Do you think you’d make a better president than Hillary Clinton?”
“No question about that, in my mind,” Romney said. “The American people may disagree with me.”
Here’s the problem. “I’d be better than Hillary” won’t fly as a campaign. Yes, one could argue that it should be enough. If all voters were rational they would simply cast their vote for the better, or the least damaging candidate.
But campaigns require volunteers. They require door knockers and phone callers. You can hire some of those people but many of them must be volunteers.
And volunteers need to be inspired. They need to believe that they have a man who is worth fighting for. “Better than Hillary” is not going to elicit that kind of compassion.
Think of the situation in comparison to marriage. No woman wants to hear from her husband, “I married you because the other girl wasn’t as good as you.” No, she wants a full commitment. She wants her husband to say that he saw her for who she was and wouldn’t even look at anyone else.
Republicans need a candidate they can get excited about. Campaigning as better than Hillary will only remind voters of George W. Bush. Was Bush better than Gore or Kerry? Yes! But was he a conservative success? No. In fact, he is probably the biggest reason why we have Barack Obama in the White House.
We can’t afford a president who is merely better than the Democrat nominee.